2.12.2009

Wisconsin Hospital Targets Improving Patient Flow

An announcement about a hospital working with a consulting firm to improve operations caught my eye recently. Such announcements are becoming more common, which is generally a good thing. What I liked about this one is that the primary focus of the consulting engagement seems to be to improve patient flow.


The Mount Sinai Hospital in Waukesha, WI, in a multi-year agreement, will be working with Lean Six Sigma specialists from GE Healthcare. Software is also part of the deal; the hospital will be using GE’s AgileTrac automated workflow and visualization system. The announcement I saw didn’t say how much the hospital will be paying GE.


Together, Mount Sinai and GE will gather real-time data on clinical workflow patterns throughout the 1,171-bed, 2.7 million square foot tertiary-care hospital to highlight process bottlenecks and showcase areas of improvement. The goal is to streamline patient flow, improve operational efficiency, and decrease patients length of stay by decreasing wait times and freeing up capacity that has been, until this project, untapped…

As the project develops, GE will collaborate with Mount Sinai to characterize and simulate hospital-wide clinical workflow using GE's proprietary simulation tools and Mount Sinai's own real time data. The simulation model will help to identify operational issues hours or even days before they occur, enabling the hospital to mitigate bottlenecks and resource constraints before they impact patients.


The people involved in this project seem to understand that improving flow can make just about everything else work better. I hope it works.

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